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Where in Europe would you go to escape midwestern winter?

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Aug 10th, 2014, 12:34 PM
  #1
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Where in Europe would you go to escape midwestern winter?

We are a retired couple who Is considering a month in Europe to get away from a brutal winter such as last year in Minnesota.. Probably Feb or March. Yes, I know we could go to FL or AZ, but we love Europe. We have visited many of the cities we are considering, but that is not a problem. We would rent an apartment and probably do some side trips. Would prefer a city so we can use public transportation and would travel by train for overnights. Not really interested in renting a car. The warmer climates of Rome, Barcelona or Athens are appealing; but, then there is always the allure of Paris. By staying a month we would clearly be trying to live like a local and not be the museum stalkers we usually are on a daily basis, so there has to be something cheap, but interesting to grab our attention during many of the daytime hours. We do not have unlimited funds, but will certainly take advantage of much our home away from home offers.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 12:42 PM
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I'd choose Rome.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 12:46 PM
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Nice could be good in March. Plenty to do and see, good rail links, weather can be pleasant in March, with sunny days. Better weather than in Paris.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 12:53 PM
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I'd choose either Rome, Florence or Paris. I'm not sure the others would hold my interest for a month.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 01:08 PM
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To elaborate: I've been to Rome in both February and March a couple times and had mild and often sunny weather. There is plenty in Rome to hold my interest beyond the big museums and sites. I was just there again in July and other than a few churches and the Borghese Gallery, I didn't do any traditional sightseeing. I find Rome is most enjoyable when I take it a slow pace, so a month would be great for me there. Apartments aren't terribly expensive, especially if you move out of the dead center. If you found a place in Monti, for example, you would be close enough toTermini to easily hop trains for day trips and overnights elsewhere.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 01:11 PM
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Does it have to be Europe? I'd opt for Bangkok or Singapore or Hong Kong. All are vibrant and fascinating cities. Bangkok is my favorite, and the prices in Bangkok are much better than in any place in Europe. Singapore and Hong Kong are expensive, more like European prices.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 01:34 PM
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I agree with Kathie. If you want to get away from winter, why go to Europe where it's also winter? Go someplace that's actually warm. If budget is a concern there are many inexpensive places in Asia. Or anywhere in the southern hemisphere or close to the equator. In Europe you'll be taking a chance that winter will catch up with you, even southern Europe.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 01:35 PM
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Anyone who quotes Hillel deserves some kind of answer:

You might consider Southern Croatia in the vicinity of Dubrovnik. Much to see by wandering into Bosnia/Herzogovina or Montenegro. Weather should be mild in the low elevations, even warm. Southern Turkey along the turquoise coast is quite appealing. Don't neglect Portugal, either. All great choices. Have fun.

stu
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Aug 10th, 2014, 01:51 PM
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I think for a month you probably should go someplace you already have reason to believe would be delightful for you, or consider 2 weeks in a favorite place and 2 weeks in someplace new. I don't consider Paris an escape from bad weather in February, so it is not clear to me whether you don't mind bad weather so long as you are someplace thrilling, or if you really are seeking some relief from the long days of bone-chilling weather of the midwest. Ask yourself how you will feel if you invest in a Paris stay only to encounter a terribly cold winter there.

I could be interested in Lisbon or Sevilla (with excursions) for a but I would weary of Barcelona in a week. Likewise, I might enjoy winter Venice (so long as it wasn't carnivale) and might prefer Naples to Rome, at least half the time.

So for a month's stay, it might come down to your very personal interests. No place is intrinsically interesting to everybody, I think, and just about anyplace could end up being irritating if the local street culture, history and food doesn't really enchant you.

Just as a side note, the neighborhood of Monti is just about as dead center in Rome as you can get when it comes to what Rome actually is, even though it is not easily in the orbit of the Vatican. It is increasingly trendy for tourists, so it is less and less of a bargain. But generally speaking, you should be able to find a favorably priced rental in Italy -- and actually do need to be careful in Paris about vacation rentals, since most of them are illegal and the city authorities have demonstrated a lot of interest in cracking down.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 01:54 PM
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If the cold is what you fear, it can be mentioned that last winter it did not freeze a single time in Paris. During the previous winter, it snowed about 10 times, so it was obviously below freezing, but generally by only a couple degrees.

Having lived here for a long time, I would tend to say that on average, it doesn't freeze in Paris more than about 10 days except in the very rare cases when a Siberian cold front descends from the east and decides to settle over Western Europe. That has happened maybe about 3 times in 40 years.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 02:09 PM
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I'd go to the Algarve, the Canaries, The Azores or Marocco. Southern Spain as a last resort ( ).
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Aug 10th, 2014, 02:10 PM
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I doubt that even Paris' worst weather could match your Minnesota winter last year!

I'd choose the city that appeals to you most not necessarily based on weather.....they will all be an improvement over staying home. Assuming this travel plan works for you, you'll probably have several years to hit all of them on your list.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 02:15 PM
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I would pick Sicily--perhaps Palermo or Taormina.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 02:17 PM
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Look at Crete, Sicily, Portugal and southern Spain.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 02:18 PM
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Frankly, going to southern Europe is never a guarantee of good winter weather. Every year, the local television stations delight in down various places far south blanketed in snow, from Jerusalem to Athens to Rome to Sicily to Algiers to Casablanca to Madrid.

It's rare, but it always happens somewhere, so you will never have a guarantee that you will escape winter.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 02:19 PM
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Southern Spain.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 02:19 PM
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down = showing (damn autocorrect!)
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Aug 10th, 2014, 02:43 PM
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There's cold and rainy weather in late winter-early spring as far south as Marrakech. Certainly not always but in my experience. The weather in Malta can be wonderful, as it was when I was there in December. But again, no guarantees.

But I do guarantee there are places that don't have cold weather, ever.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 04:11 PM
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While I know there are no guarantees, and maybe can't escape cold weather, but can escape below zero wind chills and multiple feet of snow. Judy hit the nail on the head!

Food for thought here. Someone else also suggested Buenos Aires which might be interesting.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 04:31 PM
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Know you specifically asked for Europe, but what about NZ where it is actually their summer during the US winter?
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